Killer Instinct Season 3 is finally here and with it, a bunch of cool updates to improve both the offline and online experience.
Killer Instinct Season 3
Developer: Iron Galaxy
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Available on: Xbox One, Windows 10 (tested)
A bit of context
Killer Instinct is a fighting game that has something for everyone. It doesn’t matter your skill level to enjoy it both single player and online. If you are completely new to the genre, the game features one of the best tutorials on the scene. The Dojo has 32 lessons to make players better at Killer Instinct while also teaching the fighting fundamentals. Season 3 is trying to raise the bar by implementing a new mode that promises an infinitely replay value for single player experience called “Shadow Lords”. Until then, players can enjoy Story Modes for the first two seasons for a more structured single player experience.
What’s new in Season 3?
The biggest new are the additional characters. As of now, there are four characters added to the roster, with four more on the way for a total of 26 fighters. The first addition is Kim Wu, an oriental martial artist who wields nun chucks. The second addition is Tusk, a barbarian tribal warrior. Both were introduced originally in Killer Instinct 2. The other 2 are guests: Arbiter from Halo and Rash from Battletoads. Weird additions, but also completely different from current roster.
Kim Wu is a close-ranged and high-speed fighter with nun chucks. She is the inheritor of the Dragon Spirit. Called on by the warrior-monk Jago to combat Gargos and his minions, Kim leads a bold resistance across a ravaged Earth. It is an interesting character, but unfortunately seems week in damage. She can accumulate up to three dragon spirits through various means, which can then be utilized for short dash-cancels known as Dragon Cancels. Kim’s stage takes place in a Chinatown urban area.
Tusk is the immortal defender of Earth. He stood vigilant against the threat of evil from the Astral realm, and he joins the roster to dominate the mid-range with a maybe-too-long sword. He is on the slow side of the fighters, but has way too much damage and poking abilities to compensate his lack of speed. Unlike many of the current agility-based fighters, the most rewarding way to play Tusk is with patience. Tusk’s stage takes place in an icy tundra with a ship in the background.
Arbiter is an alien warrior of the Covenant Empire. He seems like a fan service, but in a good sense and well implemented. It captures the essence of Halo franchise. He managed to keep his Type-51 Carbine, although with limited ammo, as well as Plasma Grenades that refill over time. He even has his Energy Shield, which helps to absorb projectiles and completely ignoring damage while active. The Arbiter stage has an entire Halo battle going on in the background, which is really cool.
Rash is a main character in Battletoads. He was the show-off and extrovert of the three protagonists, who loved to crack jokes, his big mouth often getting them in trouble. Coming from a beat-’em-up style of game, Rash can automatically perform combos by repeatedly mashing Light punch or Light kick. This can also recapture the opponent if they are airborne. There are also little touches that blend really good with Killer Instinct, like calling the infamous speeder bike while in Instinct Mode, and some hits using an extra visual and sound effect from the original franchise.
Season 3 was able to deliver fighters with unique styles, again
The most impressive thing about Killer Instinct is that every single fighter feels and plays different. It was astounding before and it is even more impressive now with a bigger roster. You may be thinking that the core of the combo system is the same for everyone, which makes the entire game much more approachable, and you would be right. But mastering each fighter implies looking beyond the combo system, paying attention to the speed and range of both basic moves and special techniques. With that being said, we will update this review when Mira, Gargos, General RAAM from Gears of War, and a final mystery character is released.
Killer Instinct is available for Windows 10
The Killer Instinct community is very active in Xbox One, but including another platform like Windows 10 can only enhance it. Players can make use of cross platform play, and so far it is a delight to play against console users: the netcode is as good as it is on the Xbox One. No lag, no issues. You can also use everything you owned and earned on the Xbox in your Windows 10 copy. You don’t need to re-purchase anything. With it, it also comes an in-game performance test. It pits two Cinders against each other, using combos and special effects everywhere. If the performance test deems your rig unsuitable, it will prevent you from playing online. This can be good or bad depending on your battle station, but making sure the online experience is as good as always is key for a fighting game.
The PC version also features support for the 360 fightsticks, while promising Xbox One fightsticks support coming on a later date. Xbox controllers work as good as expected.
Killer Instinct is accessible at all levels thanks to its easy to use and hard to master deep combo system. With one of the best tutorials in the genre, 2 years of updates and unique characters, I can say this is a must for fans of the genre, and a more than recommended title for those interested in fighting games. After all, the base game is free to play.